Organ donation entrepreneurs lobby against popular healthcare initiative while pocketing pandemic relief loans

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Stuart said her organization’s “financial situation” probably wouldn’t justify such a loan, and that “morally” she wouldn’t want to accept federal funds that might be needed more for others to “survive.”

Then she told Mone that “when this is all over and we return to some form of normalcy, OPOs will once again be in the spotlight on the basis of the presidential decree to investigate the finances of OPOs.”

She warned, “If it is discovered that some OPOs with large reserves have taken out this loan / grant, newspapers and lawmakers could make it a negative public hearing that we want to avoid. “

OneLegacy may have taken Stuart’s advice to heart.

In response to POGO, OneLegacy said that ultimately it was decided that the federal money was no longer needed, and it was refused. In fact, the funds were never intended for OneLegacy itself, but were requested by its legally separate foundation, an entity not subject to UNOS or federal oversight.

OneLegacy told POGO that “due to our rapid adoption of donor testing and identification of active transplant centers, we were able to continue organ donation as usual… without taking a PPP loan or anything. other additional federal or private financial support.

Yet the OneLegacy Foundation, where the federal money would have actually gone, does not directly engage in organ recovery. According to its website, its function is, “to support OneLegacy’s mission, ”By various other means. And some of that support has attracted critical scrutiny from Congress because it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, spent on everything from sponsoring a float in the Rose Bowl parade to raising awareness in Hollywood, so “film companies, television programs, film studios, entertainment, producers and writers have access to a network of experts, ” according to a OneLegacy press release. Such projects, according to OneLegacy, help it promote support and understanding for organ donation and raise funds.

In this case, OneLegacy is also one of the 32 organ procurement organizations that Health and Human Services found would not comply with the proposed regulations on donation and transplant rates, and in a October 2019 surveillance letter, Porter (in whose district OneLegacy is located) called the entrepreneur “one of the worst performing OPOs in the country.”

In the same letter, Porter also highlighted the results of a general audit of OneLegacy’s Inspector General of Health and Human Services in 2010. The audit found, among other things, that the group had spent $ 327,000. for a Rose Bowl game and parade, “including float design and frame, football tickets, hotel rooms, limousines and flowers”. She also wrote that “OneLegacy continued to spend money on the Rose Bowl and to submit a portion of its $ 75,000 a year sponsorship expenses to Medicare. “


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